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How Not To Plan

66 ways to screw it up

The book is now available to buy for all kindle editions and we hope you enjoy it.

When ordering 5 or more copies use the code 'apgbulk20' to receive 20% off your total order.

If you would like to order more than 20 copies please contact troubadour via email on quoting the book title and bulk quantity required and they will be able to work out a more preferable shipping rate then if you try and order online through their site.

How Not To Plan is the book I wish I’d had when I started out as a planner. Admittedly life was somewhat simpler then: Just the 4 main media for a start, a lot of quite good quality research to lean on, a far less complicated marketing world to operate in, and by extension a far more limited set of tasks for the aspiring strategist. The demands on today's planners and strategists are infinitely greater and the world is fabulously complex by comparison. And we are all continuously assailed by competing and often entirely fallacious theories about how marketing and advertising work. How to navigate this world effectively?

The central thing about planning, is that there is no one answer or way of doing things. You have to be an entrepreneurial, as well as a long term thinker. And you have to apply your imagination, understanding and analysis in different measures according to the problem at hand. So in the sink or swim world of planners, strategists and their clients, now more than ever, there is a need for a practical handbook to guide us through all the main parts of the process.

And thanks to Les Binet and Sarah Carter at adam&eveDDB we now have just that. The original inspiration for this book was a set of articles that they wrote for Admap over 6 years. In these they set out to bust a lot of myths and nonsense that

swirl around marketing and communications by using evidence-based approaches and interesting examples to make their points.

We’ve been working with them over the last year to turn this treasure chest of wisdom into a practical guide.  We’ve called it How Not To Plan in reference to its myth busting antecedents and in homage to an old but much loved set of essays published back in 1979 in an APG book called ’How to Plan Advertising’.

The How Not to Plan of 2018 is a manageably sized handbook which leaves room for your scribbles and notes and can be read as a guide or used as a constant helpful reference point whenever you’re stuck on what to do next, need help working out what you’re supposed to do at all, or are grasping for examples to prove a point or get a client to understand your thinking.

It’s loosely based on the Planning Cycle and is grouped into themes that are important at different stages in the process, covering everything from how to set objectives, the 4 Ps, research and analysis, to briefing, creative work and media and effectiveness. It should offer trusty guide to any problem that crosses your desk in the first years of your career.

At the end of each chapter you’ll find a simple 2-minute checklist for how to do it better, a short case study showing how it’s done brilliantly, a space for your notes and further reading for the intellectually gifted…

You can order a copy here. APG Members get a 20% off discount when ordering 5 or more copies. To receive your code, please email Lexi - or call the office on +44(0)208 858 0707.

Sarah Newman

APG Director

Malcolm White.jpg

"How do I know my wishes have come true? Well just yesterday, I unleashed their ‘How not to deal with alienation’ (Chapter 5) on an over-anxious client. It worked."

Malcolm White

Founder at Krow Communications
Read Malcolm's review here
Katie Mackay-Sinclair

"I wish “How Not to Plan” had been around when I got into the industry, but having read it cover to cover many years later, I still learned a lot. I will be buying it for everyone in my team, and recommend it to every single one of you."

Katie Mackay-Sinclair

Partner at Mother London
Read Katie's review here
Martin Weigel

"Les Binet and Sarah Carter aren’t here to sell you on some cure-all, win-all universal theory of life, planning, the universe and everything. They just want you to fuck up a little less often."

Martin Weigel

Head of Planning at W+K Amsterdam
Read Martin's review here
Dom Boyd

 "But I’d urge you to suspend your cynicism. Quite simply, these are the most important and inspiring 300 pages you’re likely to read in the next 12 months."

Dom Boyd

Chief Strategy Officer at Publicis
Read Dom's review here
Tom Goodwin

"This is a marketing book for marketers of all hues, a “how to” guide leading you through all stages of the process. Given that the authors show us how to guide creative development with with care and optimise advertising with nuance, I’d argue researchers will benefit from reading it most."

Tom Goodwin

EVP Innovation Zenith
Read Tom's review here
Paul Feldwick

"I wish everyone would read, mark, learn and inwardly digest this book. Not just about ‘planning’, it’s far too important just to be read by planners or strategists."

Paul Feldwick

Author of 'The Anatomy of Humbug'
Read Paul's review here
Richard Shotton

"The book is based on Binet and Carter’s Mythbuster column for AdMap and it covers a glorious breadth of marketing topics: from objective setting to strategy, from research to media."

Richard Shotton

Author of 'The Choice Factory'
Read Richards's review here
Amelia Torode

"Deceptively simple and straightforward (like all the best planning), this book gets to the heart of what modern planners need to do and how they ought to be approaching each project."

Amelia Torode

Founder of The Fawnbreak Collective
Read Amelia's review here
Kevin Chesters

"This is, clearly and obviously, not your usual airport “Eat your way to blockchain riches” dreadfulness. Quite the opposite, it is brilliant. Simple, almost shamefully good, lists of how to (and how not to) plan.."

Kev Chesters

Planning Partner at Harbour London
Read Kev's review here
Neil Godber

"How Not To Plan is a wonderfully illuminating and insightful book that any and everyone working in Planning (and beyond) can find inspiration, reassurance, consolation and wisdom from."

Neil Godber

Head of Planning at Wunderman Thompson
Read Neil's review here
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